Tag Archives: New York City

Anthony Comstock, Censorship and Obscenity


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lust on trialAmy Werbel’s new book Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, 2018) takes a look at Anthony Comstock, America’s first professional censor.

In Lust on Trial, Werbel presents a colorful journey through Comstock’s career that doubles as a new history of post–Civil War America’s risqué visual and sexual culture.

Born into a puritanical New England community, Anthony Comstock moved to New York in 1868 armed with his Christian faith and a burning desire to rid the city of vice.

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Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles


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broadway bookFran Leadon’s new book Broadway: A History of New York City in Thirteen Miles (W. W. Norton & Co, 2018) takes a mile-by-mile look at Broadway that traces the gradual evolution of the seventeenth-century’s Brede Wegh, a muddy cow path in a backwater Dutch settlement, to the twentieth century’s Great White Way.

Readers can learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; view construction of the Ansonia Apartments, Trinity Church, and the Flatiron Building and the burning of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum. Continue reading

New Book On 1968 Columbia Student Protests


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a time to stirPaul Cronin’s new book, A Time to Stir: Columbia ’68, (Columbia University Press, 2018) reflects upon the 50th anniversary of the Columbia University student uprising and the legacies of the 1960s.

For seven days in April 1968, students occupied five buildings on the campus of Columbia University to protest a planned gymnasium in a nearby Harlem park, links between the university and the Vietnam War, and what they saw as the university’s unresponsive attitude toward their concerns. Continue reading

American Eden: Botany, Medicine In The Early Republic


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american edenVictoria Johnson’s new book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garen of the Early Republic (Liveright, 2018) is the untold story of Alexander Hamilton’s ― and Aaron Burr’s ― personal physician, whose dream to build America’s first botanical garden inspired the young Republic.

When Dr. David Hosack tilled what is believed to one of the country’s first botanical gardens in the Manhattan soil more than two hundred years ago, he didn’t just dramatically alter the New York landscape; he left a legacy of advocacy for public health and wide-ranging support for the sciences. Continue reading

Rebellious Brew: New York’s Tea Party of 1774


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A Rebellious Brew walking tourA walking tour, “New York’s Tea Party of 1774,” has been set for Saturday, April 21st, 2018 from 11 am to 1 pm.

Boston was not the only Colonial city to have its own ‘tea party’ in revolutionary times. Many seaport cities, including New York, had their own rebellions.

Join licensed New York City Tour Guide Fred Cookinham to envision New York’s 1774 waterfront and discover why the city was late in the game to revel in patriotic spirit. Continue reading

NYC Water Supply Talk April 8th In Catskills


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The entrance to the Neversink Tunnel connecting the Neversink Reservoir to the Rondout ReservoirA presentation on New York City’s Water Supply System has been set for Sunday, April 8th at 2 pm at the Time and the Valleys Museum on St. Rt. 55 in Grahamsville, Sullivan County.

Adam Bosch, NYC DEP Director of Public Affairs will talk about the operation, protection and maintenance of New York City’s water supply – the largest municipal drinking water supply in the country.

Bosch will also share information and photos from the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel, a project to repair the longest tunnel in the world, along with a preview of the upcoming Ashokan Century Program. Continue reading

NYC Grassroots Preservation Awardees Named


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grassroots preservation awardsThe Historic Districts Council of New York City has announced the winners of their 2018 Annual Grassroots Preservation Awards, which will take place on Tuesday, April 24 from 6 to 8 pm at the St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street, New York.

This year’s Grassroots Awards recipients work on the ground, in public service, in communities and online to bring attention and resources to saving the heart and soul of New York City. Continue reading

Advocates Call For New Chair Of NYC Landmarks Commission


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The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has proposed to overhaul its rules under the guise of “increasing transparency.”

Dissenting organizations argue that the proposed changes will actually eliminate transparency, take away public oversight, and give more decision-making to Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan who, acting at the direction of the Bill de Blasio administration, has proven hostile towards historic neighborhoods and the Landmarks Law.

A hearing on the proposed changes will be on March 27, 2018 at 9:30 at 1 Centre Street. Continue reading

Lexow Committee: 19th Century Police Corruption


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crossroads of rockland historyThis month on “Crossroads of Rockland History,” Clare Sheridan interviewed Daniel Czitrom, author of New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era.

The book reveals the architects of what became known as the Lexow Committee, the state task force that – after a couple of rough starts – blew the lid off New York’s most corrupt practices and sent Tammany Hall, once again, into decline. The committee is named for New York State Senator and Rockland County resident Clarence Lexow. The author did some of the research for this intriguing book using the archives at the Historical Society of Rockland County. Continue reading

City Island Landmarks Rejected by NYC City Council


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Samuel H. & Mary T. Booth House, 30 Center Street City Island, The BronxOn Monday, March 12th, the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses voted to reject the designation of two individual landmarks on City Island in The Bronx, the Samuel H. and Mary T. Booth House and the Stafford “Osborn” House.

The reason given by Subcommittee Chair Adrienne Adams and referenced by other committee members was the Council practice of ceding control of land-use decisions to the local councilmember, in this instance CM Mark Gjonaj. CM Gjonaj was reported to oppose the landmark designations of these two private houses because their owners were reported to object to the designations. It’s important to note that neither the Councilmember nor the owners appeared at the public hearings although CM Gjonaj was reported to have submitted a statement for the record. CM Gjonaj had previously voted against affirming a landmark designation in Bushwick, Brooklyn which had local Councilmember support but whose owner opposed the designation. Continue reading